November 15, 2013

Reflector and AirPlay in the Classroom

Reflector has many uses, but in the classroom, we find an AirPlay receiver to be an effective and almost indispensable tool. Displaying an iPad to a classroom or group of students  can be done by mirroring to a computer connected to a projector. Most classrooms already have the equipment needed to do this.

An AirPlay receiver as a document camera

Reflector gives teachers the ability to move around the classroom while teaching. Instead of being tied to a desk, educators can interact and engage directly with students. Many teachers find Reflector to be an effective mobile document camera.

When a teacher is interacting with students and recognizes work that could benefit the class, Reflector allows the teacher to stop and show the class what that student is doing. This can be particularly helpful when showing steps to solve a math problem.

Brian Meehan, Director of IT at Allendale Columbia School, described the use of Reflector in Geometry.

Students studying geometry take pictures of objects in their lives. Then we launch 2 or 3 windows of Reflector on the teacher laptop (connected to a smartboard) and students use the SMART tools to measure angles and congruency.

Below, @MrMiahScience demonstrates Reflector on a white board.

image

Using an AirPlay receiver to flip the classroom.

Reflector puts students in charge of the classroom. Students can create work that  can be shown to an entire classroom without complicated setups.

Sharan Shah, Head of Grade Seven, Avenues: The World School explained.

With Reflector, I’m not always the one in charge of what is being shared on the screen. It’s another way of moving into a student-centered classroom.

Reflector makes handing off a lesson to students easy, and it’s more engaging than traditional learning. Students have the ability to project directly from their seats.

Giving students the power to teach the class is engaging and challenges traditional teaching methods. Instead of paper flash cards, students can go head-to-head isolating word problems. Students can explain geographical areas with interactive maps, or they can browse through timelines explaining certain points they chose. Reports exploring the animal kingdom or ancient Rome can be shared with the entire class by any student.

Using Reflector to monitor students

Amy Burns, a music educator in Far Hills, NJ, explains her use of Reflector in the class room at her blog. She’s using Reflector to keep track of her students’ progress on projects by projecting their iPads to a SMART board. For more privacy, she can turn the board off and monitor directly from her laptop screen.

An Apple TV AirPlay receiver alternative

At $99, the Apple TV may be too expensive for some education environments. Reflector works on almost any computer, and if a classroom is equipped with a projector and computer, Reflector can engage every student at the same time.

Reflector is an inexpensive AirPlay receiver available for $12.99. Educational and bulk rates are available to help schools make purchases.  Not only is Reflector much less expensive than hardware devices, it replaces fragile dongles, cables, adapters and other pieces of expensive hardware. These extra pieces are often lost among students and staff. Reflector stays put and is managed directly by IT staff.

Other samples of Reflector in the classroom include:

  • Connect classrooms across the country or world 
  • Watch and comment on YouTube videos
  • Annotate documents with students in real time
  • Display photos of other student work
  • Demonstrate apps
  • Use whiteboard apps to explain ideas
  • Create video tutorials for students to follow

We’re finding new uses for Reflector in the classroom every day. Have your own use? Tweet @ReflectorApp and let us know!

November 14, 2013

Wirelessly streaming a Surface Pro to a computer or projector

AirPlay Mirroring isn’t limited to iPads and iPhones. Displaying a Microsoft Surface Pro or Pro 2 tablet on a larger screen wirelessly is easy. After installing AirParrot on your Surface Pro, you will be able to AirPlay Mirror to any Apple TV 2 or 3 or any computer running Reflector

AirParrot on a Surface Pro works exactly like it does on a desktop PC, except you’re not tethered by wires or bulky laptops. 

After you launch AirParrot, the AirParrot icon will be present in your toolbar. 

Right click on this icon and you will be presented with any available AirPlay receivers on your network. 

Select a receiver from the list and your tablet screen will appear at the destination.

That’s it. No wires, and no unnecessary adapters or dongles. If your destination is connected to a projector, an entire group can see your tablet without looking over your shoulder!

Please note that any tablets running Windows RT, such as the Windows Surface RT, can not run AirParrot. 

Mirroring your tablet but only see a portion of your screen? We can help! 

October 29, 2013

September Got Swag? Winners

Last month, we asked you how you used Reflector and AirParrot. We’ve gathered the most interesting and creative stories for you below. 

An integral part of football.

Christian is a network administrator for a credit union in California. He uses Reflector for training and presentations in their boardroom. They also have several employees who work remotely and can attend meetings using Facetime broadcast through the boardroom PC and projector. Remote attendees can see and hear the meeting through Facetime, and employees in the boardroom can see and hear the remote user’s input via the Reflector set up.

In addition to Christian’s network administrator job, he is also a high school football coach. He bought a copy of Reflector for his school after using it at work. When his team plays a game, the first half of that game is recorded. At halftime the head coach grabs the iPad and goes through the film that was just recorded to make adjustments on both offense and defense.

“The film is projected on the wall and we are able to see mistakes and opportunities that we might have missed until the next day’s film session,”he said.

In the first three games using this practice, Christian’s team scored 64 points in the second half while giving up only seven.

“Reflector has played a huge part in our success. We now use it in our Saturday film sessions as well, as it allows the head coach to move freely throughout the film room rather than being locked down to the desk with the PC that is projecting the game film.”

Flip the classroom.

Krystle, a teacher in Utah, uses Reflector in her classroom. She likes not being tied to the projector or computer with wires, and she explained that when using Reflector with certain applications, Reflector can be extremely valuable.

“I have the power to navigate wirelessly and to teach actively. Reflector changed my life.”

An unconventional use.

Nicholas, an iOS developer in California, uses Reflector to demo applications he’s made and to create tutorials for iOS. He also used Reflector in a rather unconventional way.

 “I felt something fall inside of my ear. I used the camera on the iPhone and airplayed it to reflector to checkout the inside of my ear.”

QA made easy. 

Evan is a quality assurance engineer in New York. Reflector is a crucial part of his position. It allows him to easily capture processes and review a lot of data that’s captured over extended periods of time.

 How did you do that?

Patti is a middle school librarian in Massachusetts. She uses Reflector to display student work on iPads to a whiteboard. Patti currently has 27 iPads under her supervision. Her first thought when using Reflector was, “Let’s see how much the software and the network can take before I bring it to its knees.”  

After showing one student how to start mirroring, the library erupted with, “How did you do that?”

“Even the most uninterested students were sitting there with their mouths open,” Patti said. 

After discovering more than one device could connect at once, Patti asked all of her students to connect to AirPlay. Patti was able to connect ten students before there was any issue.

She also tried using Google Docs on multiple devices.

“The kids loved how two people could work on one document at the same time. Talk about engaging, huh?”

Video conferencing from any room in the house.

Luis, a software engineer in San Francisco, CA, works remotely. He uses AirParrot to extend his display to a television while he uses video conferencing software. Using a tv as a wireless display means he can work from anywhere in his house! Check out Luis using his TV as a monitor.

Present without wires.

Khiem is a creative director in Florida. He uses AirParrot to show creative work and presentations. His office uses AirParrot for easy presentation from multiple users.

“It’s great as there are six people in the office, and during a meeting we are able to just throw items up on the TV.”

Stream your favorite shows.

Perry uses AirParrot when watching TV shows. He keeps his computer in another room and streams shows wirelessly.

“It makes marathoning a series easy.”

AirPlay, even on Windows!

Bobby is a programmer in Florida. He uses AirParrot to stream content from Windows 8 tablets to a bigger screen. Bobby streams movies and educational content for his toddler.

Cut the cord.

Joonas replaced his cable TV programming with AirParrot.  He streams online content from networks like NBC and CBS to his TV without the need for wires or cable programming. He has also paired AirParrot with a wireless keyboard and mouse to turn his TV into a remote display.

October 3, 2013

Teach Meet Kentucky 13

We’re in Kentucky today for #TMKY13! Stop by and say hello! 

image

August 22, 2013

TeachMeet New Jersey

If you’re out at TeachMeet New Jersey today, be sure to stop by and say hello! 

image

image

About Us

Squirrels is a software development company based in North Canton, Ohio. We create high-quality, budget-friendly screen mirroring and device management software that’s compatible with today’s most popular devices. To date, our software can be found in hundreds of thousands of classrooms, businesses and homes. Follow our blog for all the latest product updates, Squirrels news and technology insight!